2019 Graduation FAQs

If your question is not answered below, please email graduation@cheaofca.org.

1. Who can participate?
All privately homeschooled graduating seniors are invited to participate. CHEA has always supported the right of parents to have 100% authority and responsibility over their children’s education. Thus, we leave the decision on readiness for high school graduation in the parents’ hands. CHEA’s graduation ceremony is just that; a ceremony. It is not an endorsement or approval of any school or student. We are simply joining with families to provide a formal graduation event to celebrate an achievement that parents believe a student has reached. If you are graduating or have a student who is graduating this year, then you are invited to join us.

2. Do graduates’ families have to be CHEA Members to participate?
No, the graduation is open to all privately homeschooled graduating seniors whether they are CHEA Members or not. However, there is a $15 discount for those who are CHEA Members and we would certainly love to have you support CHEA through Membership. If you want to join, you can do so at the same time that you register for the graduation.

3. What is required to participate?
A parent’s consent is required. After all, they are the ones who are conferring this honor. Participants will need to complete Graduation registration, which includes the registration fee, no later than May 17, 2019. You will also need to order your cap, gown, tassel, and diploma cover from the vendor we provide no later than June 1.

4. What if a graduate does not live in California?
We don’t require residency in any particular state in order to participate. Whether a graduate has met his/her state’s requirements for graduation is an issue parents are responsible to determine.

5. When and where is the graduation?
Saturday, July 13, 2019
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
(Graduates must arrive no later than 2:30 p.m. for sign-in and rehearsal.)
Pasadena Convention Center
300 East Green Street
Pasadena, California 91101

6. How much does it cost?
Cost for the ceremony is $125 per graduating student. CHEA Members receive a discounted rate of $110 per student. Participants will receive information to order your cap, gown, tassel, and diploma cover upon registration with an additional cost of approximately $45. Graduates will receive them prior to graduation so they may take your own cap and gown portraits if desired.

7. What’s included in the cost?
Event costs, such as the venue, formal ceremony, commencement speaker, program, photo montage, and personalized diploma are all included in the registration fee.

8. Can you tell me more about the cap and gown?
Participants will receive the link to order the cap, gown, tassel, and diploma cover upon registration. It must be ordered from the provided vendor no later than June 1. We want to make sure graduates have everything in a timely manner. It takes approximately two weeks to receive your order. Participants and their families will be responsible for ordering, payment, and bringing the cap, gown, tassel and diploma cover to the ceremony. Caps and gowns are navy blue for all graduates. The length of the gown falls between the knee and the ankle. Gowns should be brought to the graduation on a hanger so they won’t be wrinkled. The cap and gown may be kept by graduates after the ceremony.

9. May families supply their own cap and gown?
Our desire is to provide beautiful and formal event. We strive to keep costs as reasonable as possible, and to keep the event manageable as well. Toward this end, graduates must order the cap and gown from the vendor provided.

10. What should I wear under my gown?
Ladies usually wear a dress under their gowns, but nice pants and a blouse are also acceptable. Men should wear a dress shirt, tie, and nice slacks. Please no jeans or shorts.

11. What about the tassel?
The tassel has a 2019 emblem and makes a nice keepsake.

12. Will Honor Cords or similar award designations be available?
While CHEA does not bestow honor cords, graduates are allowed to wear these as well as any other honor recognition they would like. Families will have the option to order honor cords at an additional cost for academics, service, etc. when ordering the cap and gown. We will not be verbally recognizing these accomplishments; however, we would like participants to feel like an individual. Graduates may also wear leis, corsages, or sashes (i.e., if a student earned a sash in karate and wanted to wear it, this would be allowed). Since this is a formal occasion, we do ask that the caps not be decorated.

13. What is the diploma like, and is it official?
We will be presenting personalized diplomas created by CHEA of California. They are high quality parchment diplomas that will fit in the diploma cover ordered with the cap and gown. When registering, families provide the graduate’s name and other information for the diploma. The diploma is not issued by the State of California or CHEA of California. It is not a sign of approval, endorsement, or verification by any government official. If parents operate their own private school, the diploma may include the name of the school. If graduates belong to another school, they should ask their school for permission to include the school name on the diploma. Otherwise, parent’s names may be listed as the issuing authority of the diploma.

14. What is included in the program?
A graduation program will include the name, photos of, and information about each student. Participants may want to start browsing through family photos now to select a few to be included. Details for how and where to send photos will be sent to all graduation participants after registration. We will also provide questions for the graduate to answer that will be used in preparing the personal page in the program.

15. Will there be a photo montage slideshow?
Yes. Each student will provide four photos for inclusion in the slideshow:

  • Senior portrait or cap and gown photo; if not available, then a recent portrait of the student
  • Hobby photo – a picture of you doing something you love to do (i.e. dance, sports, music, robotics, scouts, etc.)
  • Baby photo – younger than two years old. Please no naked baby photos.
  • Family photo – student with family

When selecting photos, please make sure all subjects are modestly clothed, i.e., no swimwear or shirtless males. Please make sure photos are at least 300 DPI.

16. How many guests may graduates invite?
Each graduate is entitled to 15 tickets, by request. On the registration form, families will tell us how many tickets are needed. If the number is 15 or less, we will send the number of tickets request prior to the event. If graduates need more than 15 tickets, we will try our best to accommodate the request, but this will depend on the total number of tickets requested by all participants. Requests for more than 15 tickets will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, based upon the date we receive registration. Please note that the event will be open to all CHEA Convention attendees, but priority seating will be available to guests with tickets.

17. Do parents and graduates need tickets?
Graduating seniors do not need tickets, however, parents and other guests do. Again, if 15 tickets will not be enough for a graduate’s family and friends who would like to celebrate with them by attending the ceremony, register early and request the number of tickets that you need.

18. Is there a dress code for parents or guests?
This is a formal ceremony and parents will be on stage to confer the diploma and offer pre-approved congratulatory remarks to their graduate. We ask they abide by these suggested dress code guidelines:

  • Ladies should wear a dress or nice pants and a blouse.
  • Men should wear a dress shirt, tie, and nice slacks.
  • Please no jeans or shorts.

19. What will guests do during graduation rehearsal?
Graduation guests are welcome to browse in the Exhibit Hall at CHEA’s Annual Homeschool Convention on Saturday. There are also many shops and places to eat within walking distance of the Pasadena Convention Center.

20. Will guests be able to attend CHEA’s Annual Homeschool Convention?
While the convention is taking place at the same time, the graduation is a separate event. Other than the opportunity to browse in the Exhibit Hall, a separate registration will be required to attend any other part of the convention.

21. Can graduates check in earlier than 2:30 p.m. for the graduation?
No. Check-in begins at 2:30 p.m. and no one will be available to check participants in until then. If graduates will be arriving earlier to attend the Convention, they may hang their gowns at the check-in location.

22. What is the schedule of the day for graduates?

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Check in for all graduates in Ballroom I (“eye,” not “one”)
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Mandatory rehearsal for all graduates and their parents
4:30 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. Graduation seating open to all guests who have tickets
4:50 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Seating open to all Convention attendees
4:50 p.m. Line up of graduates for processional
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Graduation Ceremony (Ballroom GH)

23. Will there be graduation announcements?
Graduation announcements are a nice way to let friends and relatives share in the graduate’s special accomplishment. However, we have found that it is more cost effective for students to order their own announcement cards. There are numerous websites available from which families can order announcements, or they can design their own.

24. Are there good places nearby for a celebration dinner after the graduation?
There are many great restaurants in Pasadena, but they can be crowded on Saturday night. We suggest that if graduates plan to have dinner with guests after the ceremony, reservations be made in advance. A list of nearby restaurants is available here: visitpasadena.com. Click “Discover,” then “Eat.”